Read Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind/Brain by Patricia S. Churchland Free Online
Book Title: Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind/Brain|
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The author of the book: Patricia S. Churchland
Edition: The MIT Press
Date of issue: April 29th 1986
ISBN 13: 9780262031165
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.88 MB
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Five chapters in the book's first part, "Some Elementary Neuroscience," sketch the history of the science of nervous systems and provide a general introduction to neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, and neuropsychology. In the second part, "Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Science," chapters place the mind-body problem within the wider context of the philosophy of science. Drawing on recent research in this area, a general account of intertheoretic reduction is explained, arguments for a reductionist strategy are developed, and traditional objections from dualists and other antireductionists are answered in novel ways. The third part, "A Neurophilosophical Perspective," concludes the book with a presentation and discussion of some of the most promising theoretical developments currently under exploration in functional neurobiology and in the connectionist models within artificial intelligence research.
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Read information about the authorPatricia Smith Churchland (born July 16, 1943 in Oliver, British Columbia, Canada) is a Canadian-American philosopher working at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) since 1984. She is currently a professor at the UCSD Philosophy Department, an adjunct professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and an associate of the Computational Neuroscience Laboratory (Sejnowski Lab) at the Salk Institute. She won a MacArthur prize in 1991. Educated at the University of British Columbia, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Oxford (B.Phil.). She taught philosophy at the University of Manitoba from 1969 to 1984 and is the wife of philosopher Paul Churchland.
Churchland has focused on the interface between neuroscience and philosophy. According to her, philosophers are increasingly realizing that to understand the mind one must understand the brain. She is associated with a school of thought called eliminativism or eliminative materialism, which argues that folk psychology concepts such as belief, free will, and consciousness will likely need to be revised as science understands more about the nature of brain function. She is also called a naturalist, because she thinks scientific research is the best basis for understanding the nature of the mind. Her recent work focuses also on neuroethics, and attempts to understand choice, responsibility and the basis of moral norms in terms of brain function, brain evolution, and brain-culture interactions.
She was interviewed along with her husband Paul Churchland for the book Conversations on Consciousness by Susan Blackmore, 2006.
She attended and was a speaker at the Beyond Belief symposium on November 2006 and November 2007.
Patricia and her husband are noted for their attempts to apply their philosophical positions in their daily life. Emotions and feelings, for instance, are eschewed in favour of more precise formulations, such as the following which describes the state of Patricia after a hectic meeting:
"Paul, don't speak to me, my serotonin levels have hit bottom, my brain is awash in glucocorticoids, my blood vessels are full of adrenaline, and if it weren't for my endogenous opiates I'd have driven the car into a tree on the way home. My dopamine levels need lifting."